SOME water taps at Aveley Secondary College remain shut off and isolated until new test results to determine lead levels are received, according to the Department of Education.
Late on Wednesday, February 7 a spokeswoman said the department was still waiting for final testing results and verification.
When the new school year started last week testing for elevated lead levels in the drinking water at Aveley Secondary College and Aveley North Primary School had not been returned so students had been supplied with bottled water.
On Sunday, February 4 the department said initial tests at Aveley Secondary College had shown inconsistent results.
“The particular taps at that school have been retested and final results are expected in coming days,’’ she said.
“Until then, those taps in question will remain shut off and isolated.’’
But she said the results of water testing had cleared 10 newly constructed public schools, including Aveley North Primary School for elevated levels of lead.
She said all 11 new schools would operate normal water systems from Monday, February 5 and bottled water would not be needed.
Flushing of all water pipes in more than 800 public schools across the state, which had been requested by Education Minister Sue Ellery last year, had been completed before students returned for the school year.
Meanwhile, Professor Anas Ghadouani and Professor Malcolm McCulloch from the University of Western Australia said the overall infrastructure of both public and private buildings including homes, schools and hospitals was ageing while occasionally bad parts are being installed in new buildings.
Professor Ghadouani, an environmental engineering expert and Professor McCulloch, an expert in the geochemistry of minerals said this was not an isolated issue and would become more of a problem in the future.
They said lead leaching from brass fittings, which could go on for a long time and would not be solved by flushing the pipes, was of particular concern.
Leaching of lead and other metals was caused by all sorts of things including changes of pressure in pipes, temperature changes and biological activities.
By Anita McInnes